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The traditional focus in marketing has been on getting new customers and building the customer base through adding more first‑time customers. While it is still important to attract new customers, the costs of customer churn and the maturity of many industries suggest that this can no longer be the primary or sole source of growth for most organizations. Much of the research suggests that it is more cost‑effective to keep a current customer than to attract a new one. Relationship marketing thus focuses on attracting, satisfying, keeping, and even enhancing customers over their "lifetimes" with specific companies.

Strategies supporting a relationship focus will affect everything from service design to segmentation, as well as all elements of the services marketing mix. For example, one of the challenges in developing a true relationship strategy is to align employee incentives and recruitment toward customer satisfaction rather than simply making a sale. All of the strategies presented in the text are intended to reinforce a relationship philosophy as opposed to a traditional sales and new‑customer oriented philosophy.

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Q: How is relationship marketing or retention is different from the traditional emphasis in marketing?
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